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Churches seek to dismiss state school fees suit

By Jennifer Sinco Kelleher

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 2:45 a.m. HST, Oct 11, 2013

Attorneys representing two churches being sued over renting Hawaii public school buildings for services say the churches aren't doing anything wrong and the state knows how the facilities are being used.

A lawsuit filed in March by Hawaii Citizens for the Separation of Church and State founder Mitchell Kahle and public advocate Holly Huber claims the churches owe more than $5.6 million in unpaid or underpaid fees.

Religious liberty group Alliance Defending Freedom filed a motion to dismiss Wednesday, arguing the lawsuit relies on public documents that don't show any wrongdoing.

Attorney Erik Stanley says records show the state knew what was going on, so the lawsuit isn't exposing alleged fraud.

Spokeswomen for the state Department of Education and attorney general's office declined to comment.

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